The Western Experience, 1900-1950
Donald N. Clark


"Highly recommended. All libraries and readers." Choice April 2004 Vol.41 No. 08 G. Zheng, Angelo State University

“Don Clark has made a masterful contribution to our understanding of how Korea became open to the West during the first half of the twentieth century. It is a story of intrepid pioneers, from churches and business, who often endured harsh conditions to accomplish extraordinary things. It is at once compelling and moving, yet unsentimental.”
James Laney, former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, President Emeritus Emory University, former missionary to Korea, 1959–1964

Korea was “discovered” by the West after World War II when it became a flashpoint in the Cold War. Before the war, however, it was home to many hundreds of Westerners who experienced life there under Japanese colonial rule. These included missionaries who opened Korea as a field for evangelism, education, and medicine; speculators who risked much and reaped riches from mining concessions; and diplomats who tried to keep them neutral, even as the Japanese forced them out of business on the eve of the Pacific War.
In the first part of the book, the author reconstructs the foreign community and highlights the role of Americans in particular as participants in Korean history, bringing vividly to life the lives and suffering and triumphs of the expatriate community in Korea, especially the missionaries. In the second part of the book, the author presents the altered circumstances of American military occupation after 1945 and the consequences of the Americans’ assuming a role not unlike the one that had been played earlier by the colonial Japanese.
By telling the lives and experiences of Westerners, the author highlights the major historical events of modern Korean history. Accounts of foreigners in the Independence Movement and during the period of militarization in the 1930s shed new light on what Japanese colonial rule meant to the Korean people. Similarly, Western experiences in Korea in the 1940s amount to a commentary on the way Korea was divided and the events that led inexorably to the ordeal of the Korean War.
The stories recounted in this extraordinary book, highlighted by more than sixty photographs, are a valuable commentary on Korea’s early modernization and the consequences of the Korean War as it set the stage for Korea’s relations with the world in the late twentieth–early twenty-first centuries.

In Japanese Occupied Korea:
Half a World Away;
Vigil for a Dying Kingdom;
The Great Independence Uprising;
Living in Admiral Saito’s Korea;
The Jerusalem of the East;
The White Russians of Korea;
Life and Death on the Manchurian Frontier;
Western Women in the Land of the Morning Calm;
General Minami and the Iron Fist;
Render Unto Caesar the Things That Are Caesar’s;
The Rise and Fall of the Oriental Consolidated Mining Company;
The Winds of War;
Living Dangerously in Chosen

In Post-Colonial Korea, 1945-1950:
Liberation and Re-occupation;
Making Korea Safe for Democracy;
Soldiers of Freedom;
Living in the R.O.K.;
A Country Ripped by War

Donald N. Clark is Professor of History at Trinity University in Texas. He grew up in Seoul, earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University, and has often returned to Korea. His publications include Christianity in Modern Korea, Culture and Customs in Korea, and a section in the Cambridge History of China.

EastBridge The Missionary Enterprise in Asia 2003 452 pages photographs, maps, bibliography, index

ISBN 1-891936-11-5 (pb) $29.95